Stateline Expected to See Hike in Utility Prices

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Keeping warm is going to cost more, a lot more. Energy companies across Illinois, Wisconsin and the Midwest are going to make us dig deeper to pay for our natural gas. The reason is no surprise, it’s been the coldest winter we’ve experience in three and a half decades.

We’ve had to bundle up more when we are outside because of the cold and now it’s going to cost us a bundle to stay warm inside.

“I’ve always been running around $90, it was up to about $200.”

Terry Stenholm says his utility bill from Nicor has doubled since January.

“It kinda set me back when I came back from vacation, it was kind of a shocker.”

Stenholm isn’t the only one paying the price for a warmer home. His pain is due to local gas suppliers passing along price hikes due to the record setting cold temperatures this winter and increased demand.

“I’ve turned my heat down.”

Nicor reports a possible 33% increase to customer’s bills. Shane Larson of the Rock Energy Co-Op says people may have to pay about 25% more in March.

“We understand that the bills will be high and as we’ve always done, we work with our members if they need any extra assistance or time to make payments, that’s certainly available.”

A few things we can do to keep our bills lower, include lowering our thermostats or closing off any empty rooms.

As for owners who use propane in their homes, the nationwide shortage we told you about last month has ceased. The cost while still higher than natural gas, is lower and supplies are more plentiful.

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